[MUD-Dev] GPL (was:Libs for 3D Client/Servers)

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Tue Jul 10 08:44:37 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

On Mon, 9 Jul 2001, Patrick Dughi wrote:
> On Thu, 5 Jul 2001, Joackim Birgersson wrote:
> I know I don't have the right numbers here, so I expect someone to
> correct me, but I think I heard that UO has something between 2
> and 4 man-years of CG work put into it?  How long did it take for
> that to happen, and are they already looking a bit more blocky and
> chunky than the most recently advertised sexy, new MMPOG's?

I recall telling me it was 10-15 man-years.

> Once the code is in, creation of new objects, new skills, new
> areas, etc, is intended to be easy; large initial investment of
> time and effort, low maintainence thereafter.  Any artistic
> 'piece' though, is rarely so well based on previous efforts.
> Starting anew is time-consuming.

I thought Achaea would be low-maintainence when I started it. I was
very wrong. Just my experience. Running a MUD with an intent to make
money is not a low-maintainence endeavour.

> So, I think the main things holding back an open source game would
> be fresh artristy, and a content builder tool that rivals, if not
> exceeds, the quality of the actual game software.

I would disagree, and I speak from experience. Achaea's tools
suck. Our code is pretty bad in some places. (we don't need any
graphical art). the #1 hardest thing. Achaea got off the ground for
one reason: me. I lit a fire under my ass when I realized that I had
better get this thing going or I was going to either starve or have
to go back to being a stockbroker. It's difficult to say which
option I feared most. Now, of course, I am only one (albeit still
the prime) factor in Achaea's success (measured by small
standards. We're a drop in the bucket compared to Everquest and
other big MUDs) factor in it success, as both our other employees
and our volunteers have taken over many of the responsibilities that
I initially shouldered.

I'm not saying that my experience would be everybody's experience,
but I can just tell you without a doubt that Achaea would not exist
today if I hadn't been completely devoted to it 24 hours a day for
years. Even now, 5 years later, it's still me that gets up in the
middle of the night half the time if there is some emergency. If I
had had a job (hell, or even a long-term girlfriend) during that
period, Achaea would just be some piece of junk with no players. I
simply do not think there is anyway around it. If you're going to
attempt a successful commercial product, you are going to have to
have people dedicated to it full-time. It is a service, not a


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